ION Solar Blog

5 Tips to Reduce Your Holiday Waste

Household waste increases by more than 25% between Thanksgiving and New Years. With Christmas approaching, it’s important that we are aware of how much waste we are producing. These 5 tips will help you reduce your holiday waste while enjoying the holiday season with family and friends:

1. Use Your Own Shopping Bags

Plastic bags from grocery stores are a huge source of increased waste during the holidays. While shopping for Christmas gifts and New Years party favors, bring along your own reusable bag to cut down on plastic waste.

2. Ditch the Wrapping Paper

While presents are opened on Christmas morning, the wrapping paper is thrown into a large garbage bag and tossed into the trash can. That is a lot of paper waste! This holiday season, try using alternatives to wrapping paper such as, reusable bags, boxes, scarves, decorative towels and other types of fabrics. You’ll reduce the amount of paper waste you produce while still enjoying the excitement of Christmas morning!

Stanford University stated, “If every American family wrapped just 3 presents in reused materials, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields.”

3. Reuse Ribbons and Bows

Each present is perfectly wrapped and topped with a bow. However, bows and ribbons are a huge contributing factor to the increased holiday waste during the last few months of the year. Stanford University said, “If every family reused just two feet of holiday ribbon, the 38,000 miles of ribbon saved could tie a bow around the entire planet.”

4. Recycle Christmas Cards

While searching for the perfect Christmas card, look for ones that are made of recycled paper. Try to avoid glossy, shiny or gold foil coatings, since these materials cannot be recycled. When you receive Christmas cards, recycle them instead of throwing them away. You can also reuse Christmas cards by cutting them and using them as postcards next year. There are many ways to cut down on waste while still enjoying holiday traditions.

5. Gift Experiences

Sometimes the perfect gift is a unique, exciting experience. Here are a few ideas for waste-free gift ideas:

  • Trip/outing to a park, beach, museum, picnic, etc.
  • Handmade gifts such as baked goods, a collection of family recipes, holiday bouquets, Christmas ornaments, or video tapes.
  • Tickets to a movie, concert or sport.
  • Gift cards to restaurants, book stores, department stores, grocery stores, etc.
  • Memberships to a gym, spa, zoo, amusement park, etc.
  • Subscriptions to magazines, newspapers, book clubs, flowers, etc.

These are just a few ways you can reduce your holiday waste, save the planet, and enjoy the special holiday season with your loved ones!


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